February 27, 2019

Research: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

***The research findings (below) correspond to the Reading Horizons reading program for corrections. Reading Horizons also creates other types of reading curriculum, for example, there is a structured literacy program, reading intervention, and an ELL reading program.***

Summary of Findings

Inmates reading below a fourth-grade level received instruction in Reading Horizons. Forty percent of inmates in the program gained more than 3.5 grade levels in their reading skills. Ninety-five percent of inmates said they thought the software helped them learn to read better.


California State University conducted a three-year project investigating inmate literacy. Project leads reviewed 24 literacy programs and then selected Reading Horizons interactive software for use in the project.


Reading Horizons interactive software, California State University project resources, educational programs and computer labs at correctional facilities.


Inmates were pre-tested and then placed in one of two intervention groups: reading at or above fourth-grade level/reading below fourth-grade level. All inmates who scored below a fourth-grade reading level on the formative assessment received Reading Horizons instruction. Additionally, many inmates reading above a fourth-grade level received Reading Horizons instruction. To measure growth, post-tests were administered six months after pre-tests. Pre- and post-test scores on the Wide Range Achievement Test were obtained from 19 of 23 facilities for 400 inmates, representing 16% of all inmates receiving Reading Horizons instruction. Additionally, 21 inmates were selected to participate in a social validity survey

Download Featured Media